Using Dies As Accents – Cluster Technique

I have spoken a lot in the past about using dies on cards and layouts, and even as I use it more I realise the possibilities are endless. As you run out of elements to use and alphabets to create titles with, dies are those things that will never run out – each time you use a different paper or cardstock or technique on a die-cut, you can alter and change the way it looks and functions.


For this layout I used a combination of different dies to form a cluster.

Using Dies As Accents - This Life Layout

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TIP: when you group elements together on a layout, you form clusters. These make a bigger statement and have a huge impact when grouped closely together, when things are spread out too far from each other they lose their visual appeal and purpose.

I started off by adding my circle doily die cut underneath the vertical paper strips. I then added three leaf dies on top of the doily and finished off the cluster with a butterfly die cut on top of everything. A couple of printed tags cut from patterned paper and other elements finish off the cluster – but keeping everything nice and tidy close together.

Notice how the die cuts form an integrate part of the design without being lost – this is because they have a purpose in grounding the left hand side of the layout visually. The cluster also balances the layout having the enlarged photograph on the right hand side.

Using Dies As Accents - Washi Tape Detail

Not only did I use the die-cuts to support my layout theme of being outside, the die cuts also lend colour and texture to the layout with its various layers.

And that’s how easy it is to incorporate die cuts into your layouts.


Tips and tricks for using die cuts:

When you cut detailed and intricate die designs on your Cuttlebug, I recommend that you use a metal cutting plate to ensure a nice clean cut

My sandwich in my machine for cutting is as follows: A, metal place, B, die facing up, paper, Quick release paper, C. I cut into my C plate – why? Well this was the original ever sandwich stack and it also prevents my B plate and C plate from curling up so much. I hardly ever replace my C or B plates because of curling and this is the reason why. When you use the stack A, C, B then your plates will curl excessively and will snap and need replacing more often.
**Please note that this is my own personal experience from practice

Using Dies As Accents - Step 3
Using Dies As Accents - Step 4

The Quick release paper on top of the die, creates a buffer between the die and your paper, which enables your paper to be released a lot easier as it is the release paper that will be left behind in the die. Trust me it makes a huge difference.

I place my dies skew inside my Cuttlebug – this way the pressure seems to be all over the die. This works especially when you have intricate dies with lots of details.

Using Dies As Accents - Step 1a
Using Dies As Accents - Step 1

By colouring smooth white cardstock in different colours, I can create my own custom patterned papers in the exact colours I need for my project – making my die cuts unique and personalized each time I use them.

Using Dies As Accents - Step 5

Die cutting elements out of plain cardstock is so easy. They offer the opportunity to be inked on the edges, stamped on, embossed in your Cuttlebug, heat embossed, foiled, sanded, glittered or left plain. Each time you add a product to a die cut, you change the look of it, giving you loads of opportunities using them over and over again.

Using Dies As Accents - Truck

So go on – start using dies as accents, be brave try a cluster technique and start cutting away!


Products Used

Jowilna Nolte

Post by The Wholesaler’s Designer Jowilna Nolte.
We are very proud to introduce you to our first designer, Jowilna Nolte. Jowilna is a true creative and she will be sharing some of her passion and creativity with you.

Read more about Jowilna here.

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